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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
to me, her husband, she is incapable of being injured by any one on the way on account of her energy.’  Thus his mind that was influenced by the wicked Kali, dwelling upon Damayanti, was made up for deserting her.  And then thinking of his own want of clothing, and of her being clad in a single garment, he intended to cut off for himself one half of Damayanti’s attire.  And he thought, ’How shall I divide this garment, so that my beloved one may not perceive?’ And thinking of this, the royal Nala began to walk up and down that shed.  And, O Bharata, pacing thus to and fro, he found a handsome sword lying near the shed, unsheathed.  And that repressor of foes, having, with that sword cut off one half of the cloth, and throwing the instrument away, left the daughter of Vidharbha insensible in her sleep and went away.  But his heart failing him, the king of the Nishadhas returned to the shed, and seeing Damayanti (again), burst into tears.  And he said, ’Alas! that beloved one of mine whom neither the god of wind nor the sun had seen before, even she sleepeth to-day on the bare earth, like one forlorn.  Clad in this severed piece of cloth, and lying like one distracted, how will the beauteous one of luminous smiles behave when she awaketh?  How will the beautiful daughter of Bhima, devoted to her lord, all alone and separated from me, wander through these deep woods inhabited by beasts and serpents?  O blessed one, may the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins together with the Marutas protect thee, thy virtue being thy best guard.’  And addressing thus his dear wife peerless on earth in beauty, Nala strove to go, reft of reason by Kali.  Departing and still departing, king Nala returned again and again to that shed, dragged away by Kali but drawn back by love.  And it seemed as though the heart of the wretched king was rent in twain, and like a swing, he kept going out from cabin and coming back into it.  At length after lamenting long and piteously, Nala stupefied and bereft of sense by Kali went away, forsaking that sleeping wife of his.  Reft of reason through Kali’s touch, and thinking of his conduct, the king departed in sorrow, leaving his, wife alone in that solitary forest.’”

SECTION LXIII

Vrihadaswa said, “O king, after Nala had gone away, the beauteous Damayanti, now refreshed, timorously awoke in that lonely forest.  And O mighty monarch, not finding her lord Naishadha, afflicted with grief and pain, she shrieked aloud in fright, saying, ’O lord?  O mighty monarch!  O husband, dost thou desert me?  Oh, I am lost and undone, frightened in this desolate place.  O illustrious prince, thou art truthful in speech, and conversant with morality.  How hast thou then, having pledged thy word, deserted me asleep in the woods?  Oh, why hast thou deserted thy accomplished wife, even devoted to thee, particularly one that hath not wronged thee, though wronged thou hast been by others?  O king of men, it behoveth

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